F*CK Mediocrity. Why Your Comfort Zone Will Kill You
Let’s review a typical Monday thru Thursday in the life of the average person:
- 6am: Wake up, grab breakfast, get ready for work
- 7am: Commute into the office
- 8am to 5pm: Work hard for someone else
- 5pm to 7pm: Leave work, head home, eat some dinner, hit the gym, or run errands
- 8pm to 10pm: Relax and watch a favorite show on Netflix
- 10pm: Time for bed
Then Friday comes around, which consists of the same work till 5-6pm, followed by happy hour at the local hangout with some co-workers or maybe a late night excursion with the homies.
And this is followed by the weekend, which looks a little something like this:
Sleep in till 10am
Binge watch Game of Thrones
Run a few errands we “didn’t have time” to handle during the week
Grab some food and drinks with friends where we catch up and complain about how much we hate our jobs and lives over tapas or mimosas.
Then more TV shows or the NBA playoffs and before you know it, it’s 10pm Sunday and it’s time for us to hit the light switch and call it a night so we can be well rested to follow the same routine all over again at 6am Monday morning.
And this, Ladies and Gents, is the stint of our existence.
We are plugged into The Matrix, or what is also known as the comfort zone.
If you’re anything like me, you may be asking yourself two questions. The first is “How did I end up here?” The second is “How do I escape the trap (Aka, The Matrix)?”
How Did I End Up Here?
To help answer the first question, we need to take a seat, put our phones down, and be completely honest with ourselves.
We ended up here because we became content with being comfortable.
We deliberately sought to stay in the same environments, limiting our own potential.
We found ourselves not being leaders but followers.
We fell in line with our peers for acceptance, numbing our desires to break free from the status quo.
We were suckered into society’s perception of how we should live our lives.
We were easily influenced by our comrade’s opinions, which dictated our decisions.
We fell in line like cattle instead of striving to live the life we’ve always dreamed of.
We purposely shy away from circumstances that will challenge us and demand our very best.
We take the easy route, the path of least resistance.
These decisions have led us to end up where we find ourselves today, average. We are an average cog in the machine at an average job making average pay hanging with average people. And maybe there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s the life you want.
However, I’m assuming that if you read this far then like me, you want something more.
“Mediocrity will never do. You are capable of something better.”
Gordon B. Hinckley
How To Escape The Trap
As human beings, we often repeat the same learned patterns and old habits because these actions are the easiest way to keep us safe. Subconsciously, our mind is protecting us from the unknown, shielding us from potentially negative changes. However, these behaviors are also what is keeping us trapped in the comfort zone. If we continue to remain caged in a place of comfort we will die.
To escape this mediocrity, life will demand a different side from us. Essentially, we will have to create a new and improved version of ourselves. This is not something that will take place overnight. This transformation will require us to develop belief in ourselves, hard work ethics, discipline, and determination.
This reinvention is not something we can half-ass our way through.
In order to level up, we will have to purposely seek and throw ourselves into environments that will make us uncomfortable. By throwing ourselves into these situations, the experiences will accelerate our growth and rev up the process of transformation.
This will take a bit of self-awareness on our part. We all have desires of who we want to be, whether it’s financially, business, career, or personal. The process starts with recognizing that it’s time to change our conditions and what it is you want to change. The discomfort that comes with pushing ourselves out of our current circumstances will force us to seek out new people and environments that are aligned with our goals. This will take a complete commitment on our part, maybe like we’ve never had before. It will also require us to let go of the people and areas in our lives that we have allowed to keep us cemented to the person we never wanted to be.
Start to take positive steps forward by reading books, reaching out to mentors, attending conferences, and connecting with like-minded individuals who share similar goals. This will help to propel us in the right direction and provide us with a sense of purpose, inspiration, and energy.
A New Future
The results we desire are not found in our comfort zone. They lie in an unfamiliar territory full of unexplored opportunities, both positive and negative. I truly believe that the fastest way to see results is to act now and stop procrastinating or making up bullshit excuses as to why we can’t change our lives.
In life, it’s never too late to begin with a blank slate. Each day we can start over. Look at every day like a new page and every year as a new chapter. Our story is not finished. It doesn’t matter how the novel began or where we’re at now, all that matters is the next page, next chapter, and how it ends.
And that part is up to us. Will we live our entire lives playing it safe or will we be the ones who say fuck mediocrity and go full speed ahead after our dreams.
Sway Calloway is one of the most revered journalists of hip-hop. It’s only fitting he would launch his very own block party, Sway Fest, in the Bay Area!
When I was in Portland a few weeks ago I stumbled across a discussion with co-founder of The Hundreds Bobby Kim about his new book. I had to check it out.